Halo ce and halo reach to me are the most "halo" art design. Halo is "MILITARY" science fiction. Halo 4 and 5 art style is just science fiction. Too cybertronic, not dirty enough. The original art style is a crossing point between "clean" advanced technology, and the gritty, dirtiness of warfare.
Only almost everything that we saw in the "original art style" regarding Forerunners was inert machinery that wasn't related to war at all. Since we're breaching in full the topic of lore...
Most of the technology that we see in Halo: CE, Halo 2, and Halo 3 is not directly war-related. Relay structures, gas mines, cartographers and shield facilities. Much of the designs and terxtures loose the "grittiness" that you reference here by Halo 3, and retain a clean - if not dull - appearance. Any "grittiness" in Halo: CE and Halo 2, I feel, can be attributed to graphics and the aforementioned repetition of texture patterns.
Objects that are
related to war that we see of the Forerunners - Sentinels and even Monitors - actually do have a more "science fiction" feel to them. Sleek, high-sheen metallic surfaces clean of dirt and grime. Some of the Sentinel designs have the familiar angles and triangular shapes, but other areas have more curves and oblong designs. The Monitor is entirely spherical, and stands out the most from his surroundings even in Halo: CE. The biggest divide that this creates - aesthetically - is the difference between "dead" Forerunner architecture and "living" Forerunner architecture. By the time of Halo 4, we are entering a period in the canon where the Forerunners have returned, so it wouldn't make much sense to see a lot of "dead" architecture.
Not only this, but in Halo: CE, 2, and 3 we are only ever seeing the works and creations of one rate of Forerunner society; the Builders. Specifically
, corrupt Builders who are loyal to the Master Builder, and subsequently tore down the other rates of Forerunners. The constructs that we see - the Halos and the Lesser Ark - were also constructed hastily, in the periods during the Forerunner's war with the Flood. Requiem, on the other hand, was created by Warrior-Servants
. It is one of the oldest examples of such architecture, at a time when Warrior-Servants were at the top of Forerunner society, and when the Forerunners were not at war. Requiem has the luxury of being created with time
Differing from this, we have Genesis - a Builder world. This area is unique from other Builder sites and architecture, and it differs significantly even from the Forerunner architecture (possibly Security or Warrior-Servant) that we see in the beginning levels of Halo 5.
You did hit a nail on the head in your second post, and I'll get to that here in a second.
Quote:So yes, I am very happy with the art style they've chosen and I personally believe that them focusing on the military equipment and the dust and dirt in the trailer, are basically them acknowledging this and correcting it.
I wouldn't take too
much from the trailer, as it was primarily a tech demo meant to show off the new Slipspace Engine. At the end of Halo 5 we have their message "See you on Sanghelios"
, rather than anything about a Halo ring, so I think it's safest to assume nothing based on this demo trailer. Less chance of being angrily disappointed that way.
There is a big difference between them. The original forerunner design was more subtle and clean, looked extremely advanced
Hold on--didn't you just say that the original design was dirty and gritty? Designs in Halo: CE also have quite a bit of complexity for the limits of the Xbox's graphical capabilities, and we see this exponentially increase in detail and design with Halo 2 and then Halo 3. In contrast, the designs in Halo 4 and 5 are much more "clean".
Quote:but at the same time human.
This is the nail here. The "original Forerunner design" seems to be from a time when it was going to be that Forerunners were
humans, and vice versa. This is very much no longer the case.
Quote:The forerunner look they chose for 4 and 5 is bright orange and looks even more alien than the covenant designs.
The designs are not bright orange. Many of the lights that we see on Warrior-Servant architecture is orange (blue while in control of Lifeworkers - i.e. the Librarian), and red for constructs belonging exclusively to the Domain and Cortana's Created. The objects themselves, however, are still
shades of grey as they have been throughout all Halo games. They are, of course, alien in that they are not human.